Town Square

Post a New Topic

Any news on providing bus transportation for kids going to local schools?

Original post made by Traffic Cop, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights, on Dec 3, 2006

Is there any news on the study to provide bus transportation for kids going to local schools? See Marjorie Mader's story below.

School busing: Is it feasible in Menlo Park?
Major obstacles: cost and whether enough parents will use it.
By Marjorie Mader
Almanac Staff Writer
In response to community concerns about traffic congestion around schools, the Menlo Park City School District has asked an outside consulting team to study the feasibility and costs of providing bus transportation for students traveling from home to school and back.
Among the obstacles: the cost and whether enough parents will actually use it.
A survey of parents last May showed there was "strong support for school transportation, but many families wouldn't use it," said school board president Laura Rich, who tabulated the results.
Trustees have signed an agreement with a state-funded agency, the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, to conduct the study. The team operates from the office of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools.
Team representative Mike Rea plans to come to the district and begin the study in mid-October. The report should be ready for review at a board meeting in early January, said Superintendent Ken Ranella.
Trustees also asked the team to address the feasibility and costs associated with:
-- Shuttle service between designated points in the community.
-- Busing for school field trips.
-- Transportation for students living in the Ravenswood district and voluntarily attending Menlo Park schools under the Tinsley program, created under a court settlement in 1986 to reduce racial isolation and improve educational achievement.
Transportation for Tinsley students is provided through a busing agreement with the Sequoia Union High School District, and funded by the participating districts and the state.

Major obstacles
Cost is a major obstacle to busing because the district is not eligible for state funding for school transportation, Mr. Ranella said. Bond funds cannot be used for transportation.
Among questions needing answers: How much would transportation costs encroach on district funds for educating students? How many families would actually use school bus transportation? How much would families be willing to pay for bus transportation?
A total of 666 parents, representing 849 students (of about 2,200 students enrolled in the district) responded to the survey. Sixty-two percent said a busing program should be self-supporting. Almost 25 percent said they would support busing if the fees did not exceed $750 a year, but that support dropped to 6.4 percent if the fees were up to $1,000 a child per year.
School bus transportation vanished in the Menlo Park district after passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, which limited property taxes to 1 percent of the assessed value. Annual increases in assessed value are capped at 2 percent. Previously, local property taxes furnished two-thirds of school revenue.

Comments (1)

Like this comment
Posted by Editor
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Dec 6, 2006 at 5:10 pm

The consultant's transportation feasibility study for the Menlo Park
City School District is underway. It's expected to be completed in late January and presented to the board at a February meeting, date to be scheduled. - Marjorie Mader, Almanac staffer

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

The Saddle Room – A True Friend of Kids
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 2,060 views

Palo Alto: Pastis owner to open second French restaurant
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 1,212 views

The Four E's--Pope Francis and the Middle Class
By Steve Levy | 3 comments | 947 views

My College Mindset is Intrinsically Motivated
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 817 views

Marriage Interview 9: Make a Date to Have Sex Once or Twice a Week and . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 6 comments | 690 views